Barreling as a Bluff Postflop From Out of Position

Jonathan Little

This week's hand comes from a $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event. It occurred relatively early in the tournament when the stacks were deep, and involves me making a "squeeze" reraise from the blinds preflop, then facing having to play from out of position after having missed the flop.

With the blinds 75/150 and effective stacks around 30,000, an older player min-raised to 300 from the hijack and got two callers from the button and small blind. I then looked down at A3 in the big blind — not a very good hand, but not so bad to call with in this situation.

However, as I explain in the video below I like reraising sometimes with this kind of hand in this spot, especially early in a tournament, because A3 isn't going to play very well after the flop in a multi-way situation. I made a reraise to 1,700 and only the original raiser called.

There was 4,000 in the middle, and the flop came J104, missing my hand completely. With the flop bringing two high cards, I had to decide if I should continue with the bluff and barrel off or give up and check-fold.

Take a look and see what I decided to do, and listen to my reasons for continuing as the hand proceeds to the river:

After betting the flop and getting called, the turn brought another big card and I faced the same decision again. Would you be willing to fire again here? And if called on the turn, would you bet again on the river as a bluff?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a hand from a $10,000 WPT event that finds him bluffing with ace-high.

  • A preflop squeeze leads to postflop barrel-bluffing in this hand played by @JonathanLittle.

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